Evidence inconclusive regarding prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline

Research Activities, July 2010, No. 359

The authors of a new evidence report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality concluded there is currently insufficient evidence to identify which factors or interventions may increase or decrease the risks of developing Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive declines. Duke Evidence-based Practice Center researchers reviewed 25 systematic reviews and 250 primary research studies for a State-of-the-Science Conference on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. The April 26-28, 2010 conference was held by the National Institutes of Health's Office of Medical Applications and Research.

Some studies suggest that diabetes, certain alleles of the apoliproprotein E gene, smoking, and depression increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. Other studies suggest cognitive engagement and physical activity decrease risks. With the exception of the apolipoprotein E gene, however, evidence supporting these findings tended to be weak. The degree to which these factors modified risk was typically small to moderate for Alzheimer's disease and small for cognitive decline.

For details, go to Preventing Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline.

Current as of July 2010
Internet Citation: Evidence inconclusive regarding prevention of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline: Research Activities, July 2010, No. 359. July 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jul10/0710RA28.html